Head On (video game)

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Head On
Platform(s)Arcade, Commodore 64, VIC-20
  • NA: April 1979
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
CabinetUpright, Slimline
Arcade systemSega VIC Dual
CPU1 × Z80 @ 1.93 MHz
DisplayRaster, 256 × 224, horizontal
Arcade screenshot

Head On (ヘッドオン, Heddo On) is an arcade game released in 1979 by Sega. Cars continuously drive forward through rectangular channels in a simple maze. At the four cardinal directions are gaps where a car can change lanes. The goal is to collect dots in the maze while avoiding collisions with the computer-controlled car that is also collecting dots. It's the first maze game where the goal is to run over dots, and Head On is considered a precursor to Namco's 1980 hit Pac-Man.[1]

Ports of Head On for the Commodore 64 and VIC-20 were released in 1982. There were numerous unofficial versions for home systems.


Head On later appeared in the Sega Saturn collection Sega Memorial Selection Vol.1 and in the PlayStation 2 collection Sega Ages Vol. 23.


A very similar sequel was released the same year as the original: Head On 2. Licensed clones were developed based on the title. One of the licensees was Nintendo, who modified and released their version as Head On N.[2][3]

A spiritual successor, Pacar, was released for the Sega SG-1000. The version features updated graphics, a faux 3D environment, multiple enemy cars that chase the player in varying ways, tunnels that exit the maze, and Power Pellets that are produced by the player to eliminate enemy cars. These additions make it more like a Pac-Man clone.

A mobile phone version of Head On titled Sonic's Head On was released exclusively in Japan in 2000.


Exidy's Crash was released in arcades the same year Head On.[4] Konami's Fast Lane arcade game, released in 1987, is Head On with improved graphics and some additional features.

Head On proved a popular concept to clone for home systems. Clones include Car Wars for the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, Killer Car for Spectravideo, Car Chase for the ZX Spectrum, Dodge 'Em for the Atari 2600, Dodge Racer for the Atari 8-bit family, Tunnels of Fahad for the TRS-80, and Yuu Maze for the Famicom Disk System.

In 1990, Tecmo released a version of Head On for the Game Boy as Power Racer for United States market, with credit to Sega removed.[citation needed]

In Donkey Kong 64, the mini-game Minecart Mayhem is inspired by Head On.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Forgotten Gems of the Maze Chase Genre, The Next Level
  2. ^ Gorges, Florent (2010). The History of Nintendo, Pix'n Love Publishing
  3. ^ "Forgottendo: 10 Nintendo Games You've Probably Never Heard Of". USgamer.net. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
  4. ^ "Crash - Videogame by Exidy". Killer List of Video Games.